Day #42: Monday, April 27, 2020

Managing stress with "Animal Crossing: New Horizons"

April 28, 2020

Okay, before I say anything else, my Nintendo Switch tells me I have played Animal Crossing: New Horizons for 175 hours. With that, I’m sure it’s already pretty telling how my days during the lockdown have been going.

At the beginning of the semester, I was doing a really good job of managing my stress. I scheduled three out of my five classes on Monday, devoted my online class to Tuesday, and my last class of the week took place Wednesday morning. My time management skills were perfect. I was usually able to get all my assignments done for the following week the Tuesday before, so I could dedicate the rest of my week to my job and extracurricular activities.

Then, all of this happened. As my college transitioned to all online courses, I lost all of my time management skills that I have been maintaining throughout my three semesters at college. My current stress levels became unmanageable, and there was obviously no support or understanding from any of my professors (“I understand times have been tough, but here are three assignments for the week, and you should also be working on your final project.” x5 classes). I made the choice to change all my courses to pass/fail as a safety net to save my 4.0 GPA! Yes, I’m bragging, but only because it was far from a 4.0 when I was at RBHS. 

I’m still working from home on top of all the school stuff, but luckily, my bosses are far more understanding and supportive. I really miss my work friends more than anything else. I work at the Student Diversity and Inclusion office at my college (@ColumbiaChiSDI on Instagram!), and I manage the social media accounts as well as create digital illustrations. 

I also miss my friends from my extracurricular clubs and sports, especially because this was supposed to be my last semester with them before my senior-year schedule took over. I was on the e-board for my college’s Pride club and my college’s ballet team, and I have had a hard time realizing that it’s all over.

Zoom meetings are so awkward! They are weird and uncomfortable, and whenever my professors force everyone to have their microphones on, I hope they seriously regret it when they have to listen to my younger brother play “The Entertainer” on the piano over and over again. 

Also, as mentioned prior, I scheduled three of my classes on Monday. That means, from 9 AM to 6:20 PM every Monday, I’m stuck in Zoom meetings! If I knew this was going to happen, I definitely would have considered a different schedule! The best way I’ve found to pay attention; however, is to crochet while listening to my teachers. It honestly helps me focus on the content better than if I was just staring at the screen for those nine hours.

With all the uncertainties in the world, I have mostly been managing my stress by playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Occasionally, I have been going on bike rides with my family which is really helpful towards bringing me back to nature. I’ll also do funny oil paintings of old family photos to keep myself amused. Playing Final Fantasy Mystic Quest on the SNES is also a strong go-to!

I hope everyone has been staying safe and taking care of themselves. When this is all over, I hope we can all take time to heal as a community and catch up with the people we’ve all been away from because Zoom just doesn’t cut it.

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